The United Soccer League on Friday unveiled the schedule for its 2019 regular-season opening day, and Sounders FC 2 will host Rio Grande Valley FC at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma on Saturday, March 9. The match will kick off S2’s second campaign in Tacoma following its 2018 debut. The league’s 17-game slate on opening day is the most on a single day in USL history. Opening day includes inaugural home matches for four expansion franchises across the country. Kickoff times will be announced at a later date.
In its 2018 season opener and inaugural match at Cheney Stadium, S2 earned a 2-1 victory over Portland Timbers 2 in front of a sellout crowd of 6,049. Nick Hinds, who will be returning for his second season with S2 in 2019, scored the game-winner against Portland in the 45th minute. In the lone meeting in Tacoma between Seattle and Rio Grande Valley FC last season, S2 recorded a 3-2 win behind Azriel Gonzalez’s match-winner, his first professional goal.
In November of 2017, Seattle Sounders FC and the Tacoma Rainiers announced that beginning in 2018, Sounders FC 2’s previously-announced transition to Tacoma is accelerating, allowing S2 to play its home matches at Cheney Stadium while progress continues toward a new soccer-specific facility. The two clubs previously reached a historic agreement to build a 5,000-seat facility in Central Tacoma on the footprint of Cheney Stadium. While that process moves forward, South Sound soccer fans are now able to see their USL side play in Tacoma several seasons ahead of schedule.